Jose de la Cruz Lopez Jurado (popularly known as Pepe "el Bunolero"), died this Sunday at the age 66. After more than 40 years at the helm, Bar Los Bunoleros was a landmark in Ubeda's hotel industry. It had more than 75 year of tradition and three generations of the exact same family behind it. Pepe retired in November 2020. A delicate period of his health led to complications that he couldn't overcome.
Pepe was always connected to Los Bunoleros. His father started it. Francisco was his name and he was the eldest of four brothers. Juan, Antonio and Pedro were the others. They ran a few churrerias, and they also sold roasted chestnuts from a stall that they had set up on the street at certain times of the year.
They eventually bought the Torrenueva bar, which was still in operation, and started making churros every morning. Also, they opened a small greengrocer. Their managers would meet in the afternoons to play cards or dominoes and just hang out with their friends outside of work hours. They had a great time and decided to open the bar to the public. Pepe "el Bunolero" himself recounted the story to IDEAL during an interview that was held at the occasion of his retirement. He said, "They started by buying wine, then a carafe, and then a vat>>."
He said that his father was very entrepreneurial and had a vision for a business. He also remembered the first "little Tavern" built around a bar with wooden slats, similar to those found in fish boxes. This bar, by the way was kept for many years as a reminder about the origin of all things.
After his father Francisco passed away, the family divided the businesses through lotteries and Pepe maintained the bar. He was either 20 or 21 years of age when he joined the military. After completing his duties to the country, he left behind a bar, where he spent over four decades until he reached 65.
The premises were renovated over time. It was enlarged "downwards", and it became what it is today, November 2020. Pepe proudly recalled that it was the bar that "pulled" the most beer in the province, if not the best. He estimated that he had consumed between 70,000 to 80,000 liters of beer in a single year.
However, not all of his times were pleasant. There were also times when he was attacked, and he wasn't always fair. He never lost his mind. Mariani, his wife, was always there for him. He called Mariani "the soul of our team". His son Francisco. They were also his workers, who he spent far more time with than many family members.
Los Bunoleros was forced to close its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic, the years and other obligations. It was an institution of good food and drink in Jaen, and a reference for tapas. However, it is only able to return to work seasonalally with take-out service. It's now time to say goodbye and his driving force, Pepe el Bunolero.
Pepe's grandson and son placed flowers at the feet of the patron saint after the Virgin of Guadalupe returned to the city from her pilgrimage. They asked her to look after her health. It was impossible. They did, however, manifest from the Royal Archconfraternity at the end hours to show that Chiquitilla had received and welcomed him. They also regretted his departure from Santa Cena brotherhood to which he was always closely connected.
Tomorrow, Monday May 23rd, at five o'clock in the afternoon, the burial funeral will take places in San Nicolas parish church. The body will then be buried in San Gines cemetery. The Colodro Moreno Crematory funeral Home has received the installation of the burning chapel. Rest in peace.